Eidos pressuring reviewers to delay negative reviews?

By Justin Mann on
When purchasing a game, how often do reviews and scores given by specialized websites factor into it? Eidos believes people put a lot of weight into that, so much that they are seeking to bar negative reviews appearing for their games before release with the purpose of achieving a higher score on Metacritic. What started out as a Twitter update, with a journalist claiming that Eidos asked him to withhold his review if it was negative, has turned into Eidos outright confirming that they don't want negative reviews coming out.

This certainly isn't the first time Eidos has been seen doing this. Earlier this year, the company was assumed to have pressured GameSpot into firing one of their executive editors by threatening to pull ad deals. This was in response to a negative review that GameSpot posted, which was retroactively edited afterward. Both companies denied the two events being related, however.

In this instance, a PR company for Eidos has outright admitted that they are trying to coerce sites into not posting negative reviews, at least not until after the game is actually released. They do not state that they would prevent reviewers from getting advance copies of the game, nor that they would be under obligation to pull a review if it was negative. Still, the implication here is pretty severe. Should a game developer or publisher even be involved in the review process at all?

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